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Do You Know Your Neighbor? - An Isolated Nation Manifests A Polarized Nation
One of the greatest illusions that everyone buys into is that because we have the internet, we are more connected.
But if you were to examine your life, you'd quickly realize how alone you might be or how you don't know anyone and I believe it feeds into political polarization.
We like to throw the word "community" around these days when we group people together based on superficial attributes but the true sense of the word is meaningless to many of us in America.
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We live in areas for years but don't know the names of people we see every day. We're not invested in the success of the people around us unless their failure or issues intersect with our prosperity, then we suddenly care.
I'm guilty of this behavior as well. I've moved too many times in my life & I remember all the faces I would see in my various apartment buildings but couldn't tell you what their first names were & I never attempted to find out. However, they didn't care to know my name either.
As someone who has primarily lived in the Northeast, I've found that we are culturally trained to avoid eye contact, keep our heads down, and mind our business. But even deeper, we are encouraged to isolate ourselves from others unless it becomes of some great necessity.
It's like we are wounded & afraid to let people into our lives unless they prove useful to us, which is backward because you can't know if someone is beneficial, interesting, or insightful until you attempt to get to know them. So, we retain the status quo of being comfortably isolated.
If isolation is torture, then Americans are engaging in rationalizing pain inflicted upon themselves and I believe we are only hurting ourselves when we don't attempt to know other people who don't look like us, think like us or even agree with us.
Politics is downstream from culture and our culture has been influenced by our acceptable separation from each other.
I've stated how when I was a Democrat, I really didn't know any Republicans in person but the media was there to fill in the gaps of ignorance to provoke hatred.
Isolation breeds ignorance and anyone you don't know or are unfamiliar with can be easily added to the group called "other". They're people of mystery that you have no personal relationship with and you'll remain vulnerable enough to be manipulated by chaos agents.
What changed me was opening myself up to know people that I actively shut myself off from. It was having the humility to understand that I don't know everything but I'm willing to talk to people who can help enlighten me.
The way our politics is shaped today is by seeing people you moderately disagree with as being sinister and preventing you from going one layer deeper to understand who they really are. When they divide us into categories, they're ensuring we remain isolated from each other. Why?
It's because there is more money and power gained by making us all believe that we can't find commonality. You won't look for your neighbor's help, you'll wait for your Federal Government to save you.
You'll avoid being informed about what's happening in your own community to focus on a tragedy happening across the country that, you guessed it, the "others" created. Remember, it's always their fault but don't talk to them and don't you ever lose your anger for them.
An isolated nation manifests a polarized nation, so go outside and talk to somebody you don't know because then you'll finally be heard too.